What is an Anorak?
Anorak Nation gets its name from 'Anorak'. So, what is an Anorak?
a) A warm waterproof hip-length jacket that usually has a hood.
b) The name given to a devotee or fanatic of a single, and some might argue, 'strange' nerdy 'collecting' pastime like train-spotting or stamp collecting.
Now. The latter has it's origins in radio, and is probably the only thing we can really thank offshore pirate radio for.
Before it opened out to apply to all nerdy fanatics, for a good few decades an 'anorak' was only a radio fanatic.
The word 'anorak' was coined to replace a previous word which was accidentally broadcast. You see, originally offshore radio fans were called 'w*nkers'.
They would pay money to climb on board what became known as 'w*nker-boats' chartered to come out into the North Sea and look at the offshore radio stations like Radio Caroline. During the 1970s there were hundreds of 'w*nkers', gluing themselves to their radios, listening to the offshore stations, writing down which deejay was on when. They would send off for fanzines and car stickers which they would put all over their bedroom walls in shrines to their religion.
'W*nker-boats' would deliver them to the offshore radio ships anchored many miles out in the North Sea, and they would spend a couple of hours touring the ship, taking hundreds of photos of the aerial rigging, the studios, and anything that they could focus on. They would also try to chip off bits of rust to take home and treasure.
Legend has it that one group of 'w*nkers' hired a huge paddle-steamer for one visit, and as it approached the Radio Caroline ship one of the English crew ran into the studio that was broadcasting a Dutch daytime programme and excitedly told the dutch presenter that there was 'the biggest f***ing w*nker-boat in the whole world coming towards them'. The Dutch deejay included some English in his next link to greet them. Unfortunately, the Dutch are less taboo about such words, so what was to him a perfectly reasonable link included the hrase, "..and hello to the biggest f***ing w*nker-boat in the whole world...".
Soon after this the term 'w*nker' was replaced by 'anorak'. Offshore radio fanatics were not normally sea-faring folk. Thus, the first thing you could notice would be their bright ill-fitting new anorak bought especially for the visit. 15 or so bright ill-fitting new anoraks would stand out on any boat coming towards the radio ship, probably being the first things that could be properly seen on the horizon, and would define whether the pending visitors were enthusiasts or something to be worried about. A boat carrying 15 or so people not wearing bright ill-fitting new anoraks but well-weathered anoraks could be a hostile boarding party determined to put the station off the air.
I seem to recall that the term 'w*nker-boat' remained for quite a while after the 'w*nkers' had become 'anoraks'.
So, now that the term 'anorak' has opened out to encompass any nerdy enthusiasm we have an accepted English definition of the word that owes itself to 1970s offshore radio.